Best Mouthguard For Basketball
Looking for the best mouthguard for basketball? Basketball players are often the picture of agility and grace—until two of them collide trying to make or block a basket.
Accidents can happen on the court, and these accidents can lead to the loss of a tooth, or even damage to the jaw or gums depending on how they land.
Mouthguards are a sensible way to protect your mouth from injury, and for proof of their value, you only need to look to the NBA.
Although the NBA does not require mouthguards to be worn during play, almost every NBA player chooses to do so, including popular players like Steph Curry, Lebron James and Kevin Durant.
It’s much easier to wear a mouthguard than it is to put a missing tooth back in, and sometimes damage done to the jaw for example can’t be reversed at all.
That’s why NBA players rarely go without a mouthguard, and also why you should follow their good example. You’ll find what you need to know at the bottom of this post when it comes to purchasing a mouthguard.
There are a few basics to getting a mouthguard everyone should know. The first one is that you need your own mouthguard.
This is one piece of equipment you definitely shouldn’t be borrowing from someone else, even if it happened to fit.
Hygiene aside, if you wear a mouthguard not correctly sized to your mouth, it can shift during an impact.
If the mouthguard shifts, it could do more damage to your mouth instead of saving it, leaving you in a worse position than if you had decided not to use a mouthguard at all.
When shopping for a mouthguard, pay sharp attention to the quality of it, and don’t be swayed by a cheaper one.
It’s better to have no protection at all than think you are protected when you actually have a time bomb waiting to go off in your mouth. Luckily, a quality mouthguard is easy to distinguish.
Our Top Favorite Picks For Mouthguards
If you’re ready to purchase a mouthguard, there are dozens of great options out there.
What you will need will depend on a range of factors, from whether you want total protection including your lips, a minimalistic approach that will feel natural while still saving your teeth, or whether or not you have braces.
While these brands cover different levels of protection and have different features, they are all made from safe materials, and are backed by quality.
1. Redline Sportswear Mouthguard
One of the safest guards out there for your teeth is the Redline Sportswear Mouthguard.
This piece has a patented design that brings you the ultimate in shock absorption.
Not only does it have FDA approved materials which are extremely important in a mouthguard, but also a gel lined layer that will protect your gums and teeth even with a direct hit.
The mouthguard has a “boil and bite” design to help mold them to your teeth, giving you a custom fit. It also comes in sizes ranging from kid to adult, and the spacing is such that it can be comfortably worn with braces.
It also has a carrier that will help keep your mouthguard from getting up close and personal with your gym socks in your bag. This is one of the best designs out there, and is a very practical and cost effective solution overall.
The only complaint this mouthguard has received is the fact that it doesn’t have a mouthstrap, but since basketball players don’t wear a helmet to attach it to, this isn’t a problem we have to worry about.
2. Battle Oxygen Lip Protector Mouthguard
If you’re concerned about breathability, the battle oxygen lip protector mouthguard is a possible option.
This mouthguard is designed for the lips, but it will also protect your teeth as well by acting as a shield for them.
This mouthguard is specially designed to make breathing, drinking, speaking, and even eating easy to do.
The mouthguard uses the same technology utilized by SCUBA diving gear to make this possible.
It features one of the widest breathing holes in this style of mouthguard currently in existence, making sure you get all the oxygen you need for a fantastic slam dunk.
It was designed by athletes and dentists alike to handle the physical blows typical in sports injuries, and is a one-size-fits all guard—no boiling necessary.
The mouthguard is made from high quality materials so you know what you’re putting in your mouth is safe for you and your body.
The guard is comfortable to wear with braces, but doesn’t come with a case.
Although that’s not a deal breaker in itself, if you’re uncomfortable with it not having one this may not be the right mouthguard for you.
3. Sisu NextGen
If you’re looking for the ultimate in comfort, the Sisu NextGen will probably be your favorite guard.
This mouthguard is one of the thinnest in the market, fitting your teeth like a glove so it hardly feels like you are wearing a mouthguard at all.
Of course, when you read about thinness you’re probably worried that means there’s very little in the way of protection for your teeth.
The Sisu NextGen relies on it’s unique design to distribute the force of a blow evenly across the mouth, protecting the teeth from harm.
You can drink, speak and breathe in this mouthguard just fine without feeling too restricted, and it features superior moldability to hug your teeth with a custom fit.
It does this through a somewhat wider bitepad, that makes molding easier and more comfortable.
The downside to this mouthguard is that while it can handle your average scuffle just fine, it may not protect your mouth as well from a serious blow.
It’s also not suitable for children under the age of 11 due to limited sizing.
If you were searching for the best basketball mouthguard for your smallest player, this mouthguard isn’t going to be a good option.
Instead, choose this one if you’re most concerned about comfort and quality materials, or the need to drink and speak without taking it out of your mouth.
4. Shock Doctor Pro Mouthguard
The Shock Doctor is one of the most popular brands out there because of its deep understanding of how mouthguards should work, and the high quality of its products.
This company is so trusted in fact, it appears 3 times on our list.
Unlike the Sisu NextGen, this mouthguard goes in the opposite direction with heavy duty protection that can take even a direct hit to the mouth and keep on going.
This mouthguard has a serious front bumper that will not only keep your teeth from harm, but your gums also.
The serious protection this mouthguard offers makes it look like it will be uncomfortable as the price, but Shock Doctor manages to come through with a comfortable design.
The mouthguard is moldable with a boil-and-bite fit that makes the guard fit snugly to your teeth.
The metal frame is a comfort to those worried about having a toothless smile, but may be distracting to new players who are still trying to get used to having a mouthpiece at all.
If you’re not sure how you’re going to like having a mouthpiece in your mouth, you may want to start with a more moderate style and scale up or down from there.
On the other hand, if you want serious protection, this is the choice for you.
5. Venum Challenger Mouthguard
While a metal mouthguard will certainly protect your teeth from harm, they also have obvious drawbacks.
A hard metal piece in your mouth is stiff, and may be uncomfortable due to the materials.
The Venum Challenger mouthguard combats this with a gel interior that conforms to your teeth for maximum comfort.
They’ve also taken their design farther, by getting CE certification for their mouthguard. For those who don’t know, CE certification guarantees the health and safety of a product.
When you’re putting a piece of gear in your mouth where chemicals can easily leach out and into your body, guaranteeing the safety of the product is an excellent way to improve product quality.
Venum doesn’t stop there with a rubber lower frame that absorbs shocks and ensures that even the roughest of blows won’t harm your teeth, gums, or jaw.
This mouthguard is designed to withstand blows from MMA fighting, which means it’s likely to be able to hold up to even the most disastrous fall during a game of basketball.
If you’re serious about protection, but also about comfort, this is a great option to give you the best of both worlds.
6. Shock Doctor Mouthguard
If you like the idea of protecting both your lips and your teeth, this mouthguard again presented by Shock Doctor, is one of the few mouthguards on the market that offer protection for both.
It works by having a sturdy mouthguard with a low-profile bite pad designed to maximize comfort, and extensions that come out and over the lips to protect them too.
Despite the lip extensions, this mouthguard is highly breathable and you can eat as well as drink while using it.
Shock Doctor is so confident this mouthguard will protect your teeth, it has a $10,000 dental warranty.
That means if you are wearing this mouthguard and still incur damage to your mouth, Shock Doctor will be there to make it right for you.
Most customers report loving the large breathing channel, and there are a multitude of colors available for people who like to match their gear.
Finally, Shock Guard uses some of the finest materials available to make their mouthguards.
They are latex free, BPA free, and Phthalate Free as well as meeting all requirements for state high school safety.
The result is a top tier design and one of the best mouthguards available on the market.
7. Battle Fang-Edition Mouthguard
Sometimes, choosing your mouthguard isn’t purely about protection.
Many of us have a whimsical side as well, and a fun choice that still protects your teeth may be more valuable to you than comfort or a steel barrier between you and an elbow.
If you’re looking for something that’s fun, affordable, and easy to take in and out, the Battle Fang-Edition mouthguard should be your choice.
As the name implies, this mouthguard has fangs stenciled on the front, so you can give your opponents a pointy toothed grin every time you score.
More importantly, this mouthguard has a feature almost no other guards do—a sizing for those 9 years old and under.
If you’re shopping for a child who is just entering basketball, this mouthguard is going to be one of the few choices available.
The no fuss insertion and removal also make it ideal for kids, or if you need to be constantly taking it out and putting it back in.
The down side is, unfortunately, that it also probably has the least protection of all of the mouthguards here.
This isn’t an ideal mouthguard for serious players, or people who need serious protection, so keep that in mind when shopping.
8. Shock Doctor Mouthguard for Braces
If you have braces and are concerned about breaking brackets while out on the court, a mouthguard is a sensible way to protect thousands of dollars in orthodontics.
Unfortunately, many mouthguards don’t have the room to allow a comfortable fit with braces, and using one not designed for them can actually cause damage to the braces due to the pressure on them from the mouthguard.
Shock Doctor once again presents with a mouthguard that offers protection, this time specifically for those who wear braces.
This mouthguard is uniquely made entirely out of 100% medical grade silicone, meaning it has potentially the safest possible material for your mouth.
The material is soft and comfortable to wear, and it has nearly instant fitting, another great feature.
The downside to this product is that it does not stand up to constant use.
The lifespan of this mouthguard is about 6 months of regular use.
If you’re fine with continuously replacing your mouthguard as needed however, you’ll get unrivaled protection and comfort during its lifespan.
9. ProDefenda Mouthguard For Basketball Player
Until this point, we’ve mainly looked at two key features of mouthguards—how well they protect your teeth, and how comfortable they are to wear.
These are the most critical parts of a mouthguard of course, but what about innovation?
The ProDefenda is our presentation for the most innovative mouthguard.
This mouthguard features a double layered frame with a gel insert that protects against shock, and a hard outer shell that wards off direct blows.
It has a boil-and-bite fitting that allows for a customized fit and the tightest possible hold, and comes in two sleek color options, black or white.
This mouthguard is beautiful, well designed, and protective, but it does of course have its drawback. It is not suitable for people who wear braces.
10. Nxtrnd Classic Mouthguard Sports
If you were looking for something that feels light and more natural, without compromising safety, look to the Nxtrnd Classic Mouthguard Sports.
These mouthguards are moldable for a custom fit, and are made from an EVA blend that is safe to put in your mouth.
This mouthguard allows you to speak much more clearly compared to other mouthguards, and are designed to take an impact without cracking.
This particular line also comes with two guards, not just one, so if you happen to misplace one or fail to mold it correctly, you have a back up.
Customers report that the company also offers top-tier service should anything go wrong, replacing mouthguards that warp due to mistakes made during the fitting process, regardless of whether it was user error or not.
As a final perk, they are also easy to clean. All you have to do to stay hygienic and safe with this piece is to rinse it under running water and then store it in its case.
The case will protect the guard from getting unwanted debris on it, and also from getting damaged between uses.
This particular guard will not fit someone with braces, owing to its light and thin nature.
The molding also happens much more quickly on this guard, within just 5 seconds of immersing it in hot water.
You’ll have to act quickly to make sure it is set correctly, which could be annoying if you aren’t prepared.
Look For These Traits in a Mouthguard
It’s the right size
Most mouthguards are relatively one-size-fits-most, but that “most” can make a big difference between usable or not.
While some mouthguards are pre-molded, many of them are molded to your individual teeth.
This is done by placing the mouthguard in hot water for a few minutes to soften it, and then biting down on it.
The water softens the mouthguard so it is pliable, and it bends to fit your teeth and gums, customizing it to your mouth.
If you have a big mouth, you’ll need to get an over-size mouthguard so it will fit comfortably. If the mouthguard is for a small child, an adult mold won’t fit.
In general, everyone else can fit the same sizing in-between, so if you’re over the age of 11 and have a normal sized mouth, you can probably go with an average sized mouthguard.
Types of mouthguard
There are two major types of mouthguards, the moldable kind and the unmoldable kind.
Some types of moldable mouthguard can be molded several times, which is useful if you’re buying a mouthguard for a growing child whose mouth is changing quickly. Others can only be molded one time and are permanent after that.
The pre-molded sort doesn’t change to fit your mouth structure at all, but that doesn’t mean a poor fit necessarily. You’ll need to try one out and decide for yourself which one works best for you.
Double check materials
Unlike other pieces of protective equipment, this one is going into your mouth. If the mouthguard is made out of inappropriate materials, chemicals could leach from it into your body.
The best basketball mouthguards have been FDA approved, or tested for safety in some way.
It’s also important to think about whether the material will have other unwanted problems.
While rubber is a safe material to put in your mouth, if it is cheap, poorly made rubber it may not work as designed and cause the mouth piece to fail when you really don’t want it to.
Does it work
A mouthguard is nothing more than an ornament if it is too flimsy to absorb the shock of a fall. If the mouthguard looks thin and cheap, it is thin and cheap.
Put your money where your mouth is, literally, and buy a piece of protective equipment that will keep your teeth where they belong.
Can you work
If a mouthguard is too annoying or prevents you from performing basic functions, you won’t wear it.
You should be able to speak with your coach, drink, and breathe through your mouth with it on. If you can’t do these things, it isn’t a good mouthguard.
A mouthguard may not be required by the industry, but it is a sensible step nearly all players take.
In 2017, an NBA star did actually get his front tooth knocked out by an arrant elbow during a game. Around 20% of all injuries sustained during a sports game is to the mouth.
This is why so many top athletes choose to wear a mouthguard, and why you should too.
A mouthguard is only as good as its level of protectiveness however, so it’s worth taking the time to look through options to make sure the one you get will protect you.
A mouthguard will probably be the cheapest piece of equipment you buy, so don’t let cost be a factor in your decision.
Instead, focus on material, fit, and level of protection.